Jimmy Smith – Fourmost Return {Milestone}

Review by Ken Dryden (allmusic.com)
Recorded during the same 1990 gig at Fat Tuesday’s as the earlier Fourmost CD, Fourmost Return features Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, and Grady Tate in great form once again, so this is no compilation of lukewarm leftovers. The music includes a burning, up-tempo take of “Sonnymoon for Two” and a bluesy and lyrical interpretation of “Mood Indigo,” as well as an initially lounge-like “Laura” that gives way to a hot solo by Burrell. Smith also revives his popular “Back at the Chicken Shack” and adds a good-natured but rather hoarse vocal to the oldie “Ain’t She Sweet.” All the players are in top form and this release should appeal to fans of soul-jazz.

01. Sonnymoon for Two (05:37)
02. Mood Indigo (06:15)
03. Ain’t She Sweet (03:32)
04. Back at the Chicken Shack (06:36)
05. Organ Grinder’s Swing (05:06)
06. Laura (10:49)
07. Blues for Stanley (10:25)

Jimmy Smith – organ, vocal on #3
Stanley Turrentine – tenor saxophone
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded live at Fat Tuesday’s, New York City; November 16-17, 1990.

Label: Milestone
Year: 2001
Genre: Jazz
Style: Soul Jazz, Hard Bop
Total Time: 48:19

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Jimmy Smith – Fourmost {Milestone}

Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)
Organist Jimmy Smith has a reunion on this CD with his 30 plus-year associates tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and guitarist Kenny Burrell along with drummer Grady Tate. Together they play spirited and creative versions of standards and blues. The highpoints include “Midnight Special,” a swinging “Main Stem,” Tate’s warm vocal on “My Funny Valentine” and a lengthy rendition of “Quiet Nights.” Suffice it to say that this all-star date reaches its potential and is easily recommended to fans of straightahead jazz.

01. Midnight Special (06:58)
02. Main Stem (06:42)
03. Summertime (08:28)
04. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be (06:37)
05. Soulful Brothers (10:18)
06. My Funny Valentine (05:53)
07. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (10:50)

Jimmy Smith – organ
Stanley Turrentine – tenor sax
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Grady Tate – drums, vocal on “My Funny Valentine”

Recorded live at Fat Tuesday’s, New York City; November 16-17, 1990.

Label: Milestone
Year: 1987
Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Soul Jazz
Total Time: 55:46

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery – Further Adventures of Jimmy & Wes {Verve} ”Japan”

Review by Richard S. Ginell (allmusic.com)

Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes picks up where Dynamic Duo left off, digging a little further into the one-time-only Wes Montgomery/Jimmy Smith sessions and coming up with more fine music — mellower in general than Dynamic Duo but first-class nonetheless. Unlike most of the studio sessions from this time, Montgomery gets plenty of room for his single-string work as well as his famous octaves, and both techniques find him in full, mature bloom, needing fewer notes in which to say more (Smith, of course, is precisely the opposite). All but one of the tracks on the original LP find Smith and Montgomery interacting only with themselves, the drums of Grady Tate, and the congas of Ray Barretto; Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” (not often covered by jazzers) and Montgomery’s “O.G.D.” (later known as “Road Song”) come off best. Oliver Nelson’s big band makes a sole appearance with a swaggering chart of “Milestones.” Though Dynamic Duo is probably the priority purchase by a hairsbreadth margin, you’ll need to have both that album and Further Adventures eventually.

01 – King of the Road
02 – Maybe September
03 – OGD
04 – Call Me
05 – Milestones
06 – Mellow Mood

Jimmy Smith – organ
Wes Montgomery – guitar
Grady Tate – drums
Richard Davis – bass
Ray Barretto – percussion

Bob Ashton, Danny Bank, Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson, Phil Woods – woodwinds
Jimmy Maxwell, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, Clark Terry – trumpets
Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, Melba Liston – trombones
Tony Studd – bass trombone

Recorded on September 21 and 28, 1966
Year: 2004

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork


Wes Montgomery – Bumpin’ {Verve} “Master Edition”

Review by Shawn M. Haney (allmusic.com)

Taking the listener on a smoother, rather than bumpier, ride down the moonlight highway of jazz is Wes Montgomery, a chief architect of the world’s guitar virtuoso scene. Not only is his brilliant command of the six-string present here, so is the vivid color tones of notes and blue notes played between. Backed up by a hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing orchestra conducted and arranged by Don Sebesky, the music almost lifts the listener off his feet into a dreamy, water-like landscape. The atmosphere is serene and enchanting, such as a romantic evening for two under starlight, and certainly a romantic eve merits the accompaniment of this record. The sounds are soft, smooth, and silky, and Montgomery addresses full leadership of his graceful melodic style, fronting close to 20 members of a orchestra perhaps best described resonant and sweeping. So too are the sweeping note flows of Montgomery’s guitar, and his surprising fluidness towards the art of comping, a necessary trait of the jazz guitar virtuoso. Even the unforgettable Jim Hall can be tickled and intrigued through a listen of these influential records, as for all amateur and professional guitar musicians. “A Quiet Thing” is perhaps the most somber, peaceful, and smooth piece on the record, demonstrating Montgomery’s love of quiet, and how much the idea of not playing at all brings music to the listeners. The charming sounds of orchestral violas, violins, cellos, and harp are sent ablaze to create a pleasant atmosphere, either for a quick morning get up, get ready for work, or evening dining setting. “Here’s That Rainy Day” is an up-tempo bossa nova tune that resonates with Montgomery’s enticing chordal changes and blissful phrasing, not to mention the blend of harp and strings lays the groundwork for a perfect rainy day inside, with drops pattering at the windows and fires aglow. The recording engineer did a wonderful job with this album. The sound quality is clear and lush, and, overall, this collection of mid-’60s cool jazz is a delight to listen too, once and again.

01 – Bumpin’
02 – Tear it Down
03 – A Quiet Thing
04 – Con Alma
05 – The Shadow of Your Smile
06 – Mi Cosa
07 – Here’s That Rainy Day
08 – Musty
09 – Just Walkin’
10 – My One and Only Love
11 – Just Walkin’ (previously unissued)

Wes Montgomery – guitar, with Arnold Eidus, Lewis Eley, Paul Gershman, Louis Haber,
Julius Held, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malignaggi, Gene Orloff, Sol Shapiro (violing);
Harold Coletta, David Schwartz (viola); Charles McCracken, George Ricci (cello);
Margaret Ross (harp); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Grady Tate (drums);
Don Sebesky (arranger, conductor)

On tracks 3 and 4; Helcio Milito (drums), replaces Grady Tate.

Recorded 1965 at Van Gelder Recording Studio, ENglewood Cliffs, New Jersey; tracks 7-9 and 11 on
May 16; tracks 2 and 5 on May 18; tracks 3 and 4 on May 19; and tracks 1, 6 and 10 on May 20.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Teri Thornton – I’ll Be Easy to Find {Verve}

Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)

After a nearly 40-year hiatus, Teri Thornton is back to swing and sing her way into your heart. In comparison to her old Riverside recordings, it seems she’s lost nothing vocally, her angelic clarity and soulful vibrato are intact, and her enthusiasm is still spiking depth charts. She’s backed by her own piano on four cuts, and the able Ray Chew on the others, save Norman Simmons for the sole live-in-concert finale (she and Simmons are credited) with bassist Lonnie Plaxico, alto sax and flute master Jerome Richardson, trombonist Dave Bargeron, multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson, and drummer J.T. Lewis. At her best on ballads, blues, and upbeat swingers, Thornton proves she really can do it all. Her rippling Ella-cum-Sarah chords are unfettered on a rousing live “Salty Mama” with Grady Tate (drums) and Michael Bowie (bass). The funky blues is all right with Thornton on “Feels Good.” A showstopper, “Knee Deep in the Blues,” and the faded in and out bossa “Wishing Well” are from her pen. The most unusual arrangement by producer Suzi Reynolds of “Nature Boy” has no discernible time signature. It’s kinetic but seems to float, Plaxico punctuating but never seeming to ever hit one. Richardson’s great flute work and Bargeron and Johnson’s background horns play inquisitive mind games, quite a challenging listen. She sings the ballads “Somewhere in the Night,” “Where Are You Running?,” and the title cut immaculately — not kitten soft but forcefully pronounced. She’s boppin’ on “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and adapts “The Lord’s Prayer” in a modal vein, Chew’s piano chordally searching for deliverance, and she really shines instrumentally on “I’ll Be Seeing You” in a fashion that rivals Shirley Horn. There is a definitive song, “I Believe in You,” with a great lyric that seems to sum up the influence of a certain someone who has helped Thornton through her battles with cancer and the constant yin-yang of raising a family for these past four decades. Teri Thornton is emphatically back with this complete view of an artist, finally giving us a taste of what we’ve suspected these many years.

01 – Somewhere in the Night
02 – I Believe in You
03 – It Ain’t Necessarily So
04 – The Lord’s Prayer
05 – Knee Deep in the Blues
06 – I’ll Be Easy to Find
07 – Nature Boy
08 – Wishing Well
09 – Where Are You Running?
10 – Feels Good
11 – I’ll Be Seeing You
12 – Salty Mama

Teri Thornton – vocals (all tracks), piano (7, 10, 11)
Howard Johnson – cornet, tuba, contrabass clarinet, baritone sax (1, 3, 5, 7-9)
Dave Bargeron – trombone (1, 7-9)
Jerome Richardson – flute, bass flute, alto sax (1, 4, 7-9)
Ray Chew – piano (1-6, 8, 9)
Norman Simmons – piano (12)
Lonnie Plaxico – bass (1-11)
Michael Bowie – bass (12)
J. T. Lewis – drums (1-11)
Grady Tate – drums (12)

Recorded on June 22 & 24, 1997 at RPM Studios, New York

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Jimmy Smith – Organ Grinder Swing {Verve} “Japan”

Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Most of organist Jimmy Smith’s recordings for Verve during the mid-to-late ’60s were with big bands, making this trio outing with guitarist Kenny Burrell and drummer Grady Tate a special treat. This CD reissue is a throwback to Smith’s Blue Note sets (which had concluded two years earlier) and gives the organists the opportunity to stretch out on three blues and three standards. This release shows that, even with all of his commercial success during the period, Jimmy Smith was always a masterful jazz player.

01 – The Organ Grinder’s Swing
02 – Oh, No, Babe
03 – Blues for J
04 – Greensleeves
05 – I’ll Close My Eyes
06 – Satin Doll

Jimmy Smith – organ
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, ENglewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 14 and 15, 1965.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Zoot Sims and The Gershwin Brothers {Pablo}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Along with his album with Count Basie (Basie and Zoot) during the same period, this is one of Sims’ most exciting recordings of his career. Greatly assisted by pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate, he explores ten songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Somehow the magic was definitely present and, whether it be stomps such as “The Man I Love,” “Lady Be Good,” and “I Got Rhythm” or warm ballads (including “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “Embraceable You”), Zoot Sims is heard at the peak of his powers. A true gem.

01 – The Man I Love
02 – How Long has This Been Going On
03 – Lady Be Good
04 – I’ve Got a Crush on You
05 – I Got Rhythm
06 – Embraceable You
07 – ‘S Wonderful
08 – Someone to Watch Over Me
09 – Isn’t it a Pity
10 – Summertime
11 – They Can’t Take That Away from Me (bonus track)

Zoot Sims – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Joe Pass – guitar
George Mraz – bass
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded at RCA Recording Studios, New York; June 6, 1975.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Gerry Mulligan meets Scott Hamilton – Soft Lights & Sweet Music {Concord}[MFSL]

Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Starting in the late ’50s, Gerry Mulligan recorded a series of encounters with fellow saxophonists that included such immortals as Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster. In 1986 he resumed the practice for this one date on which his baritone is matched with the tenor of the young great Scott Hamilton. The music, which includes warm ballads and fairly hot romps (five of the seven songs are Mulligan originals), consistently swing and are quite enjoyable.

01 – Soft Lights and Sweet Music
02 – Gone
03 – Do You Know What I See?
04 – I’ve Just Seen Her
05 – Noblesse
06 – Ghosts
07 – Port of Baltimore

Gerry Mulligan – baritone saxophone
Scott Hamilton – tenor saxophone
Mike Renzi – piano
Jay Leonhart – bass
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, New York City; January 1986

Quality: accuraterip, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ray Brown All Stars – Don’t Forget the Blues {Concord}

Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)
On this 1985 Concord release, bassist Ray Brown heads an all-star quintet featuring trombonist Al Grey, guitarist Ron Eschete, pianist Gene Harris, and drummer Grady Tate. The majority of the selections on the set are blues (including “Night Train,” “Rocks in My Bed,” “Jumpin’ the Blues,” and a pair of Brown originals) with “If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight)” being a temporary departure. Grey, Eschete, Harris, and Brown have plenty of concise solos, Tate is typically excellent in support, and the results should please straight-ahead jazz fans.

01 – Blues’d Out
02 – Jim
03 – Night Train
04 – If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)
05 – Rocks in My Bed
06 – You Don’t Know Me
07 – Jumpin’ the Blues
08 – Don’t Forget the Blues

Ray Brown – bass
Ron Eschete – guitar
Al Grey – trombone
Gene Harris – piano and fender rhodes
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded at Classic Sound Studio, New York City, May 1985.

Label: Concord Jazz
Year: 1986
Genre: Jazz
Style: Classic Jazz, Bop

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork